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The age of social media has brought about a new dynamic in customer communications: The concept of "real time" has made companies more accountable to their customers.

The application of the concept goes beyond generic customer service, however. In fact, if anything, companies and brands should see the importance of taking it a step further... into the realm of marketing.

Brands today have a huge opportunity to use real-time marketing to enhance personalization and reach, especially in addressing the continually changing customer expectations. Companies should seize the day by making timely offers to increase loyalty (even to upsell) and to retain customers.

Sadly, most don't.

The Problem of Silos

There are many reasons for the persistence of silos. For most companies, it's a matter of the infrastructure in place: Many get comfortable with the old and don't want to experiment with the new. That's why many marketers are still using disparate, siloed systems and platforms that are outdated for the purposes of inbound and outbound marketing.

Those platforms don't speak to the growing needs of our marketplace to focus on the real-time component of marketing. They also don't speak to each other. As a result, one platform may serve an outbound need, and one may serve an inbound need; but, if someone handling outbound communications does not see what is being said on the inbound side from the same customer, there could be a substantial disconnect.

Think about it this way: Let's say Bob Jones contacted your company as an inbound lead, and three days later, after Bob is already working with your inbound account executive, an outbound sales development representative pitches Bob, having zero knowledge of the ongoing communication between his colleague and Bob.

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image of Tamar Weinberg

Tamar Weinberg is a professional hustler and the author of The New Community Rules: Marketing on The Social Web. She blogs about all things tech, productivity, and social media customer success at Techipedia.

LinkedIn: Tamar Weinberg

Twitter: @tamar